Oregon Judge Charged for Not Performing Same-Sex Marriages — When He Doesn’t Have To

jdgvncdyEven though he hasn’t performed any marriages since the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right, and no same-sex couple has ever asked him to marry them, and judges don’t have to perform any weddings at all, an Oregon judge faces possible removal from the bench for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. Marion County Circuit Judge Vance Day faces the end of his judicial career for not doing what he isn’t legally obligated to do.

Day is charged with 13 counts of ethics violations, which are being heard by the nine-member Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability in Salem, Oregon. The hearing began last Monday and is expected to wrap up this week. Here is a summary of the charges and Day’s response prepared by his lawyers.

A Witch Hunt?

The major charge against him is that he violated Rule 3.3(B) of the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct, which states that judges shall not manifest bias or prejudice against anyone. His defense is that the code of conduct is unconstitutional — it is so vaguely written it violates his First Amendment right to free speech and exercise of religion. He explained during an interview with The Statesman-Journal, “I don’t believe that by taking the oath as a judge that I somehow set aside my First Amendment civil liberties and that as a judge I’m a lesser species of protection.”

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

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